Review: Beabadoobee — Fake It Flowers

Categories:  Music    The Arts
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 at 12:30 PM
Review: Beabadoobee — Fake It Flowers by Teddy Rankin

Beabadoobee may be a difficult name to spell or pronounce, but we’re going to have to get used to it.

The 20-year-old artist’s new album, “Fake It Flowers,” would certainly draw its own attention, but it doesn’t hurt that it's being propelled by a breakout collaboration. Earlier this year, Powfu released “death bed (coffee for your head),” which sampled Beabadoobee’s “Coffee.” It’s since racked up nearly 750 million streams, spreading the distinctive, gentle voice across a huge new possibility of listeners.

Following the success of Beabadoobee’s featured appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and TikTok, the British-Filipino songwriter, born Beatrice Laus, has now pulled off a very well-made album at a crucial time in her career. The artist’s new album is making her a rising star and a future household name with 17 million monthly listeners of her own on Spotify.

The nostalgia is palpable in Beabadoobee’s music. “Fake It Flowers” draws from ‘90s and 2000s alternative rock, including the influence of artists like Avril Lavigne and Sheryl Crow. She takes this style a step further by introducing a polished filter — it’s production that allows her music to be relevant in today’s crowded music business.

The album’s opening track and lead single, “Care,” is a pop-anthem about reconciling with the past and moving on. The song is somehow simultaneously heavy and as light as popcorn due to the combination of electric guitars and the artist’s sweet vocals. Beabadoobee manages to say a lot in few words, singing, “I’m still the same, but are you the same?”

A few songs later, “Dye It Red” starts off with some swear words for shock value. It goes on to be one of the heavier cuts on the record, describing the freedom that can come with a fresh hairstyle. This may seem trivial, but it’s actually pretty empowering for a pop song. In an interview with Vice, Laus shared that every time she sings this track, “it reminds me that I am my own person, and I can do whatever the f*ck I want.”

My personal favorite is the closing track, “Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene.” To be honest, the lyrics aren’t the appeal of Beabadoobee. Her music is more about the production and the mood it sets. Therefore, when she lets go of the limitations of traditional pop songwriting and screams three seemingly unrelated words in a dynamic crescendo into insanity, it plays well. The song swells and expands until it collapses on itself like a black hole, resulting in an abrupt end that leaves listeners wanting more.

Even though Beabadoobee’s songs aren’t lyrically rich, the familiar tone and poppy melodies make for a sweet treat that could be listened to as a guilty pleasure. However, pleasure is pleasure and “Fake It Flowers” is a well-executed album designed to take you back in time and have you singing in the car. If that’s what you’re looking for in 2020, I haven’t heard anyone else do it better.

Teddy Rankin is a staff writer at The Spectator. He can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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